“God’s servant must not be argumentative, but a gentle listener and a teacher who keeps cool, working firmly but patiently with those who refuse to obey.” – 2 Timothy 2:23
“A gentle response defuses anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire.” – Proverbs 15:1
Last week, my daughter ended up in time out (about thirteen minutes after she woke up, I might add). When I went to get her out of purgatory, I asked why she had been punished and what she needed to say to me. She plainly stated, “I am in time out because you yelled. I am sorry you got mad.” Needless to say, I will not be writing parenting books any time soon. It did get me thinking about my attitude and spirit toward my children, husband and neighbors. Jesus set an example of humility and gentleness. He was so unlike other rulers of his day (and our day for that matter). He was not self-serving; he did not wield power to ensure submission; he did not act out of anger, but was intentional and thoughtful in his responses. He practiced gentleness. His approach toward us is consistently calm and kind – which is tough to emulate, especially in the routine discipline with children. But His gentle approach is certainly one to imitate and one that often fosters healthy conversations, effective listening, and defused anger. I think the first thing to think about when approaching gentleness is intentionality. A gentle spirit often springs from thoughtfulness. I am constantly praying for a gentle spirit and a gentle household. Gentleness is speaking the truth in love – taking the time to be kind and intentional in your responses. Gentleness models forgiveness – showing our children how to ask for forgiveness when we are wrong. And gentleness uses physical touch – Jesus often reached out and touched those He forgave or healed in order to connect with them and show His love. I will be praying for your home – for all of us to be gentle listeners and teachers who keep our cool.
Grace Brown, Faith and Family Coordinator